How should I handle a mediation meeting on 22nd September 2014 about Consumer Complaint I made regarding a Pool Service under Australian Consumer Law? I am a pensioner and would like some to help me on the day as the tradie is a rather smooth talker.
Each State/Territory should have resources on mediation and may offer mediation support. Hence, as @Worldy1 asked, which State/Territory are you in?
Some general tips about going into meetings:
- Have a list prepared beforehand that has important points for you (three to four) that you would like discussed in the mediation
- Figure out what interests you are concerned with (is it compensation for poor service/goods, is it an apology, is it to improve their safety policy etc) and why this is particularly important for you?
- What is the minimum you are willing to accept? In other words, what is your "best alternative case/situation"?
- LISTEN and be open
- If you have time, understand the principles/policies/laws surround your dispute and figure out what could be reasonably expected from the provider and from yourself as consumer
- Try to not let emotions run the mediation (try not to take points in the mediation personally or as a personal attack)
- If you can, set a timeline for the mediation and if you believe conversations are going nowhere, pause that point and move on to another one, then come back to it after a while with hopefully fresh perspectives
- Take notes during mediation of what has been agreed upon
Here is a link to the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia's general rules for mediation. This may help you in preparing for what to expect from the mediator. Of course, mediation is fairly informal and so these rules may be changed according to agreement.